Those who have scoliosis typically won’t experience back pain, so diagnosing it will involve looking for other signs and symptoms. This includes uneven shoulders, or a rib hump, or a hip that appears higher than the other one. There are a growing number of adults who are suffering from scoliosis—despite the fact that most patients who have it are kids.
With more and more people suffering from scoliosis, it becomes necessary to look for better solutions. A lot of patients visit chiropractors to see if alternative treatment can help them, but they end up disappointed because scoliosis isn’t actually “curable”. But chiropractors can still help.
Can chiropractors fix scoliosis?
Potential patients and skeptics like to throw that question around. But it is important to set the right expectations before visiting any kind of healthcare professional.
Chiropractors can, in fact, help patients drastically improve their quality of life, even if they have scoliosis. But you need to know exactly how chiropractors can help and in what aspects they can provide assistance. Let’s take a closer look.
What You Need to Know About Scoliosis
Scoliosis is a spinal disorder traditionally defined as a sideways curvature of the spine. The curvature (or curvatures) appears S-shaped or C-shaped. Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common form, which accounts for about 80 percent of all cases. Unfortunately, idiopathic means “without known cause”, and experts don’t have all the answers for sufferers.
Other common types of scoliosis are: congenital (the patient was born with the issue), paralytic (the muscles don’t work), myopathic (the muscles don’t work properly), and secondary (meaning the problem was caused by a secondary condition like osteoporosis or degeneration).
Scoliosis affects between 6 and 9 million people in the US. That accounts for around 3 percent of the population. Children aged 10 to 15 are the largest age group and girls are more often affected than boys. There is also a growing population of adults who have scoliosis.
Setting the Right Expectations
There are a few treatment options for scoliosis, including chiropractic care, which is an alternative treatment method that helps deal with musculoskeletal conditions using spinal adjustments.
Scoliosis is absolutely treatable, but it’s not “curable”. Scoliosis is sometimes compared to diabetes because it’s a condition that requires ongoing care. So instead of thinking about the short term, patients have to look for long term treatment options that can improve their quality of life.
Chiropractors can help manage your scoliosis, allowing you to live a wonderful, comfortable life, with few limitations. Patients only need to stay dedicated to their treatment plan that their doctor and chiropractor will develop for them.
Assessing the Patient: What Chiropractors Consider
Before a chiropractor can work with a patient suffering from scoliosis, they need to assess their condition and come up with a treatment plan. This helps the chiropractor assess just how much help they will be able to give. Each patient is unique, and so a different solution will be required each time.
The chiropractor will primarily look at the spinal rigidity. This shows them how much upfront work needs to be done before they can effectively make smaller adjustments.
The chiropractor focuses on more than just muscles, bones, and discs. They also consider the nerves in the spine and how much tension is being placed on these nerves. By alleviating nerve tension, your chiropractor can help you feel better more quickly.
Your chiropractor may also conduct a series of balance-related tests to assess your sensorimotor integration or SMI. This gives them an idea of how well your brain is able to communicate with your body. These tests may be repeated over the course of treatment, to see how much you have improved over time.
Taking a Different Approach
Even the chiropractor himself has to take a different approach because scoliosis is different from other spinal conditions. Usually, a chiropractor would look for stuck joints or parts of the spine that are misaligned. And then they would use spinal manipulation to restore this alignment. But with scoliosis, joint mobility isn’t the major issue. Therefore traditional chiropractic adjustments can put more pressure on the spinal joints and aggravate the surrounding nerves.
In practice, this means scoliosis massages, stretches, and exercises along with adjustments that are scoliosis-specific.
A chiropractor will have to create a treatment plan that works specifically for a certain patient’s condition. While a chiropractor won’t be able to “cure” this condition, they will substantially improve your quality of life. Look for a chiropractic clinic near you today and learn more about how they can help with your scoliosis.
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